Daily Archives: January 29, 2014

SA Tourism sets up shop in Nigeria

Pretoria: Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk says the opening of a SA Tourism’s regional marketing office in Lagos, Nigeria, will boost tourist arrivals at the OR Tambo International Airport.

Speaking at the opening in Lagos, Van Schalkwyk said this was an invitation for Nigerians, Ghanaians and other countries in West Africa to come explore the beauty of South Africa. “This office will serve as a tourism hub from which we will look to grow our presence in West Africa.

“Yes, we mark an important milestone here today, but it is exactly this, a milestone, along a road we have long been walking with the travel trade of this region.

“During this time we’ve invested heavily in understanding the needs of the West African traveller so as to ensure that your holiday experience is as rewarding or memorable to you as it is to us.

“To that end, we have also been working tirelessly to ensure that South Africa offers the West African travellers a holiday that enriches their lives through a world of new experiences,” he said.

When other industries – like manufacturing, retail and agriculture – were amongst those that buckled under the pressure brought about by 2008’s global recession, the tourism sector showed an impressive growth.

While tourist arrivals from the United States and the Eurozone – SA’s trade partners – showed an unimpressive growth in recent times, those from Africa recorded positive growth.

Van Schalkwyk said that 73 282 Nigerian tourists visited South Africa in 2012 – an overall 13.8% increase to the 64 402 Nigerian tourists who visited South Africa in 2011.

“At the end of June 2013, Nigerian arrivals had continued to grow on a strong trajectory: 15.9% growth on the same period in 2012 to 40 097 tourist arrivals.

“Likewise, tourist arrivals from Ghana to South Africa grew a phenomenal 23.8% in 2012, when South Africa welcomed 22 953 Ghanaian tourists. Up to end June 2013, arrivals from Ghana were growing at 27.3%, to 13 663 tourist arrivals for the six-month period.

“Global interest in visiting Africa is at an all-time high; and it is also our intention to do our bit to convert this interest into increased arrivals across the continent.”

Mbebe pleased with high quality football in CHAN 2014

Pretoria: The CEO of the Local Organising Committee of the CHAN 2014, Mvuzo Mbebe, has expressed his full satisfaction with the high quality football that has been on show from the onset of the tournament.

“We said it at the beginning that when CHAN leaves these shores, it will be viewed as a totally different tournament. “We confidently dubbed it Africa’s Home Champions, with the aim of elevating it to a level that is befitting to the rich football talent that Africa possesses.

“Not only have we witnessed great football but once again, Africa has stood up and united at various stadiums to show their love and support for the beautiful game.

“We are at the final stages of the tournament and we now challenge Africans to come out in their numbers as we witness another African giant arise in the form of CHAN,” he said.

Mbebe’s sentiments were echoed by CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani, who said: “We are quite satisfied with what has been displayed so far on and off the pitch.

“As we enter the semi-finals, we are confident that the best is yet to come. We hope that fans will come in their numbers to Mangaung to be part of the history, enjoy the games and see how Africa is gifted with talented young players.”

Standing at a record total of 72 goals being scored after 28 matches, the Orange CHAN 2014 is currently averaging at 2.6 goals per match, an impressive record compared to the recently held AFCON 2013 with its 2.16 goals scored for the whole tournament.

The quality and commitment from the players eager to lift their nations’ flags high up into the African skies is testimony to outstanding display of pure African football talent.

CHAN has affirmed CAF’s vision of celebrating Africa’s Home Champions where locally based players are given the opportunity to showcase to their world their talent.

Equally the outstanding leadership of the three coaches, who are nationals of the teams proceeding to the semi-final Stephen Keshi for Nigeria, Ian Gorowa of Zimbabwe and Maxwell Konadu from Ghana are true testimonies that when national duty calls and nations pride is at stake, they have lived up to the occasion.

Football lovers have also witnessed some exciting talent emerging during the tournament with the likes of Nigerian sensation Christantus Uzoenyi, who has been a livewire for the West Africans, scoring three vital goals.

Young Zimbabwean shot-stopper George Chigova has been outstanding, with him only conceding a solitary goal for the Warriors.

Abdelsalam Omar has also been in fine form for Libya, hitting the back of the net three times while Richard Mpong’s consistent performance has been instrumental in the Ghanaian team.

Tomorrow, Nigeria will face Ghana, while the Warriors of Zimbabwe (amaZim-zim) will take on Libya in the highly anticipated semi-finals at the Free State Stadium at 5pm and 8:30pm respectively.

AU Executive Council meeting underway

Addis Ababa: The 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council will enter its second day today in the run-up to the 22nd AU summit set for Thursday.

The session, which kicked off on Monday, is expected to deliberate on the different reports of the ministerial meetings organised by the AU Commission in the past six months.

In her opening speech, Chairperson of AU Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, noted that the session of the Executive Council would take stock of work done and deliberate on issues important to the African continent.

The chairperson emphasised issues related to peace and security on the continent, the Agenda 2063, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and Africa’s partnership with the rest of the world.

“The CAADP goals of increasing agricultural investment and productivity, of growing agro-business and value chains, of expanding infrastructure, skills and research for agriculture, are all part of what needs to be done for this year,” Dlamini Zuma said.
Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopian Foreign Minister, and also Chairperson of the AU Executive Council, highlighted the peace and security situation on the African continent, especially with the situations in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. He emphasised the need to help these African states in restoring peace and stability and address their internal challenges.

During the session, foreign ministers and other officials of AU member states are also expected to consider the activity report of the commission; the recommendations of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on the implementation of previous decisions of the Executive Council and the Assembly.

They will also consider the report of the ministerial committee on candidatures as well as the report on the implementation of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA).

They will further consider the report of the Commission on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, as well as the report of the commission on implementation of assembly decision on granting competence to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to deal with international crimes.

One of the high moments during the Executive Council meeting will be the election of the 10 members of the Peace and Security Council for a two-year mandate, as well as the election of the president and vice president of the Pan-African University Council, according to the AU.

The ministers will in turn pass on their decisions and recommendations to the heads of state and government, who will meet at their 22nd ordinary session on Thursday.

Women’s group encouraged to make inputs on WEGE Bill

Pretoria: The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, on Tuesday joined a roundtable discussion on the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Bill.

The roundtable discussions with the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) and convened by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize in Johannesburg, were held on the eve of Parliament’s public hearings on the Bill.

Parliament will, from tomorrow until Thursday, hold hearings to allow members of the public and stakeholders to make submissions on the Bill.

According to the department, Xingwana addressed PWMSA on the significance of the Bill and why it is important for organisations to meaningfully contribute in the public participation process. She said this was an opportunity for them to shape the Bill before it is enacted.

“Once enacted, the Bill will become a powerful instrument to advance the objectives of women empowerment and gender equality. It will enforce compliance both within and outside the public service,” said the department.

The department last week held consultations with relevant and affected stakeholders in the women sector. The consultations aimed to inform and get them ready to make valuable and informed inputs during public participation period.

The WEGE Bill was published in the government gazette in August 2012 and negotiated with NEDLAC between January and May 2013. Cabinet approved the WEGE Bill for Parliament process in October 2013. The Bill is also accessible on www.dwcpd.gov.za.

Modise notes comments by family of Borolelo mother

Pretoria: North West Premier Thandi Modise says she has noted the grievances directed towards government by the family of the 58-year-old woman who died queuing for water in Borolelo near Swartruggens.

The woman, Shuki Moiloa, was buried at the weekend with financial support from the provincial government. The body of the mother of three had been lying in the mortuary for close to three weeks until Modise’s intervention to assist the family meet funeral costs.

According to a statement released by the Office of the Premier on Tuesday, Modise said the recent death of the four protestors in Mothutlung and the passing away of Moiloa in Borolelo were “unfortunate and unacceptable”.

She said none of these deaths should have occurred. “However, this is not the time to ‘play the blame game’. Her death is one life too many, and government has assisted the Moiloa family, not out of guilt, but from a humanitarian point of view,” said Modise.

This comes after the Sowetan published an article in which the family of the woman raised certain grievances against government.

“Irresponsible and misleading comments will only multiply the present challenges that government is proactively working to eradicate,” said the premier.

She added that in the interest of nation building, government calls for calm and reassured the people of the North West that government was rapidly addressing water challenges across the province.

The premier will be embarking on a road show to affected communities to brief stakeholders on the scope, timeframes within which the over R2 billion water intervention projects are to be delivered.

“Though the water interruption and allegations of racism are still under investigation, the interim report suggest that a local farmer had closing the valve to pressurise the municipality to use boreholes on his farm at a charge of R38 000 a month.

“It would appear that when the valve is closed, local farmers get water downstream for their livestock but when the valve is opened they do not hence they are prepared to at their own cost tanker water to the local community,” said the statement.